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U.S. Justice Department May Probe College Football for Abuses of Antitrust Law

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Washington, DCUtah Senator Orrin Hatch has called for an investigation into the college football Bowl Championship Series (BCS) over perceived infringements of antitrust law.

In a letter to the senator, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch outlined the inequities of the BCS that affect millions of football fans, players and universities.

In the BCS system there are 11 conferences and five bowls, including a national championship. The teams leading these conferences automatically qualify for a spot in one of the bowl games regardless of national rankings, while only one team from outside these conferences can earn a spot in these games.

Hatch complains that the system denies teams from outside the pre-established conferences a fair chance to compete.

"The current system runs counter to basic fairness that every family tries to instill in their children from the day they are born," the Senator told CNN. "It is systematically unfair, jeopardizing students, players, education quality, ethics and true competition."

The Obama administration has been weighing options to solve the conflict, including asking the Federal Trade Commission to examine the legality of the BCS structure under consumer-protection laws and encouraging the NCAA to seize control of the bowl system.

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